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HAART is a commonly used acronym for highly active antiretroviral therapy. No periods. This is pretty consistent across the newspapers of note.

See also antiretroviral therapy.

Handicapped—see also Disabled 

The term handicapped should not be used. If someone has a disability, do not write that he or she is afflicted with or is a victim of whatever disorder. Instead, write He has muscular dystrophy. Similarly, don't write wheelchair-bound or confined to a wheelchair; write She uses a wheelchair or walks with crutches. Put the reference to the person first, followed by the description as disabled, so that people are not defined by their disabilities. Thus, people with disabilities or people with diabetes or people with AIDS, rather than the disabled or disabled people or diabetics or AIDS victims .

Headlines and headings

Capitalization in headlines
In initial-caps headlines, headings, or proper nouns, capitalize both segments of a hyphenated word if each segment is a whole word.

Off-Campus Housing to be Expanded

Exception: capitalize only the initial segment if the compound word consists of a stem plus a prefix or suffix.

Non-degree Students Enthusiastic
Post-baccalaureate Unclassified Students Revolt

Numerals in headlines
Use Arabic numbers in headlines, even for numbers 1–9.

Police Say 6 Stores Robbed

Health care

We prefer health care as two words.

Notable exceptions:
HBS often uses the spelling healthcare (one word).
We always spell it as one word if it is a proper noun, as in Healthcare Financial Management Association.


Helminths are parasitic worms, categorized into groups of cestodes (tapeworms), nematodes (roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, pinworms) and trematodes (flukes).

When referring to a particular helminth, the genus name is italicized and initial-capped, and the species name is italicized (but not capitalized), as follows:

Trichinella spiralis (the helminth that causes trichinosis)
Taenia solium (the helminth that causes cyticercosis)
Trichuris spp. (the hookworms that cause trichuriasis)

When abridging the name of a helminth, we do so as follows:

T. solium
T. corporis

The name of the disease caused by the helminth is neither italicized nor capped (unless it contains a proper name).

schistosomiasis / bilharzia


Hyphenated word.

By discussing hip-hop's impact on young people's minds ...


HIV is an acronym for human immunodeficiency virus. No periods. No hyphens.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post treat the acronyms inconsistently. Sometimes they use periods (H.I.V.), and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they use a hyphen (HIV-AIDS, or, worse, H.I.V.-AIDS), and sometimes they don't. We're sticking with HIV and HIV/AIDS.

See also AIDS

Honorary Committee 

The name of the School's Honorary Committee has officially been changed to the International Honorary Committee.

Hours and minutes

Use a colon to separate hour from minutes. The colon and minutes are not necessary for even-hour times.

11 a.m. (not 11:00 or 11:00 a.m.)
3:30 p.m.
5:30–8:30 p.m.
from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (not from 5:30–8:30 p.m.)
noon, midnight (not 12 noon or 12 midnight, or 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.)

Human rights

The term human rights is considered singular, in the same vein as the term politics. Be sure to use appropriate subject-verb agreement.

Human rights is important in the study of refugee populations.

Human rights plays a role in public health.

Politics is a dog-eat-dog business.


When used as a common noun, lower-case:

The odds of a hurricane striking Maryland ...

When used as a proper noun, initial-capped:

After Hurricane Ike spun off Cuba ...

However, when used to refer to more than one proper nouns, lower-case:

In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita ...

Hygiene Building

The School's main building at 615 N. Wolfe Street is no longer called the Hygiene Buildling. Its official name is now the Wolfe St. Bldg.


As a rule, hyphens join words (but do not separate phrases or ideas).

Creole-Dominican cuisine
Sino-Japanese war
Bloomberg-Gates campaign for tobacco control
princess-pauper marriage
elm-and-ash-shaded patio
the salt-sensitivity theory
peer-review process
single-gene disease


Compound modifiers and hyphens
Compounds should not be hyphenated if they follow the noun or verb they modify or if they consist of an adverb and an adjective: rapidly fading, highly visible (exceptions are in Webster’s).

A hyphen is not necessary in a compound adjective that includes arabic numerals to represent dollars.

an $18 million building

Very and -ly
Use a hyphen between compound modifiers when they precede the noun or verb they modify, except when the compound modifier includes very or an adverb starting with well or ending in -ly.

She directs their computer-assisted reference services.
BUT: Almost all of our services are computer assisted.
a 5-year-old child
BUT: Sophie is 5 years old.
first-year student
a general-education requirement
a heavy-ion physicist
frequently asked questions
well known author

EXCEPTION: If a modifier-noun pair is an especially familiar one, it is often unhyphenated when used to modify another noun.

high school students, not high-school students
the day care teacher was happy.

Suspended hyphen
Use a suspended hyphen when a base word, such as year in the example below, or a suffix or prefix such as self, is doing double duty.

second- and third-year law students
self-initiated and -implemented projects

Use this construction even when the complete words, standing alone, would be closed up.

macro- and microeconomics

Prefixes, hyphenation with
Compounds formed with the prefixes listed below are usually closed up (no hyphen).

ante, anti, bi, bio, co, counter, extra, infra, inter, intra, macro, meta, micro, mid, mini, multi, neo, non, over, post, pre, pro, proto, pseudo, re, semi, socio, sub, super, supra, trans, ultra, un, under

EXCEPTIONS: Use a hyphen if the prefix is attached to a proper noun or to more than one word, or if closing up the word would make it confusing or ambiguous.

anti-Semitic oratory
pre-twentieth-century poet
co-op (versus coop)
anti-intellectual (versus antiintellectual)
A small-business manager operates a business that is small; a small business manager is diminutive in stature.

Council on Education for Public Health

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